Cosworth has expanded its range of pistons through a collaboration with advanced materials supplier, Materion, that sees Cosworth produce and machine Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) pistons for the automotive sector.

Working with Materion, Cosworth’s move to Metal Matrix Composites has allowed the company to move away from the traditional metal billets, forgings and castings that are not suited to the demands of tomorrow’s high-performance engines.

Cosworth Metal Matrix Composite pistons

Materion’s SupremEX composite combines ultrafine silicon carbide reinforcement with aerospace aluminium alloys. The result is a composite that is superior to conventional alloys, combining the lightweight properties of aluminium with outstanding strength and stiffness

SupremEX pistons can be used to replace aluminium, titanium, steel and other structural alloys and composites. The specific stiffness of SupremEX exceeds that of other piston materials by at least 40 percent, allowing for a significant reduction in reciprocating mass.

The reinforced structure of MMC pistons minimises wear at critical interfaces, compared to conventional aluminium piston alloys, for example, and offers a 25 percent lower coefficient of thermal expansion. This in turn allows tighter control of piston to liner clearance reducing piston slap, blow-by-oil carry over and crevice volume, providing increased efficiency.

Crucial components for an advanced lightweight V12 engine

The MMC pistons are crucial components that have enabled Cosworth to engineer such an advanced lightweight V12 engine for the Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) T.50. The pistons are key to the engine’s ability to hit a maximum speed of 12,000 rpm and produce the highest specific output of any road-going naturally aspirated engine at 166PS-per-litre.

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